María-José Juárez

Hailing from Mexico City, based in Berlin — co-founder of aequa an intersectional community space that strives for an equitable society in Berlin, and a design thinking coach at HPI School of Design Thinking since the last 3 years. She has dedicated 9 years of her career to being a social entrepreneur, with clients spanning public, private and non-profit sectors, including organizations such as National Action Party, Melton Foundation, Politics for Tomorrow, City Administration of Lübben, Humboldt University, Universidad de la Habana, British Council, city_lab, BMW, Boiler Room, Roche, D.Collective e.V., Bundesverband Deutscher Stiftungen e.V., among others. She also founded Mexiro, a Mexican NGO focusing on sustainable development and women’s empowerment in indigenous communities. She holds a Master’s degree in public policy from the Hertie School of Governance and a BA in political science and public administration from the Universidad Iberoamericana. 

For her, design thinking is more than an innovation-led methodology executed by an iterative process. It’s a mindset that challenges competitive social behaviours and fosters teams' diversification which leads to collaborative innovation. Her masters thesis research focused on Policy Innovation Labs, spaces embedded within the public sector which use agile methodologies in policy design and gather different stakeholders. Thus, she currently advises policymakers on how to account for citizens’ feedback.